A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Family Feast

So happy I was back in time for Thanksgiving! I spent the day hanging out with family. We also had LOTS of extended family there. My Uncle Dale and Aunt Teresa were there and two of their kids (my cousins Brandon and Lauren) and their families. Plus another cousin (Levi) and his family plus. My Uncle Rod and Aunt Rose were also in town and at dinner. I LOVED being surrounded by lots of family. It was so fun. I also loved holding all of the babies.  I'm just so blessed with such wonderful family. Wish my entire family could have been there.

Here are a bunch of pictures from the day of the feast. My dad fried a Turkey... and my mom made the most delicious rolls.

My contribution was Chocolate Haupia Pie. My favorite! I bring it every year because I love it.

So much food!!


Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Flashback Friday 144

This was when I was in 1st or 2nd grade... I had received some sort of award for the Jog-A-Thon. I'm not sure what is up with what I'm wearing... but even back then I guess I had a love for boots.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 197

Happy Thanksgiving! I have SO much to be thankful for! First of all, I'm so thankful to be home. It's crazy that I left at the beginning of this month and I came back and now it's Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful that I was able to go on this trip and able to experience many trips... they make me happy and I always come back for a new appreciation for the United States of America and what a blessed nation we are. I'm also always thankful to come back to my family and friends. Also always thankful to come back to the comforts of living.... my bed, normal plumbing, etc...

I'm also so thankful for the gospel. Especially being in Buddhist countries for two weeks. I'm thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ and for his example and sacrifice. I'm thankful for our living prophet today. I'm also thankful for the opportunity I have to share the gospel when I travel. I have this quote in my scriptures that says "Live as He lived, so that those that know you and don't know him, will want to know him because they know you". I really do try to live that way. I try to be a good example to all those I might all over the world and represent our church in the best way I can... and talk about the church when the opportunity comes up. On this trip it came up a couple of times. The biggest discussion I had was on the 12 hour flight on the way to our trip. I sat next to this very sweet Christian lady. She prayed for me a few different times that we would have safe travels. We read scriptures together and I helped teach her what Latter Day Saints REALLY believe since she heard things like  the more money we had the high up in heaven we got or the more wives you had the higher up in heaven you got.... WRONG!!! I don't know who starts this stuff, but I was happy to set her straight. Happy to tell her that we believed Christ was our savior and that we believed the same scriptures that she did... we just had another testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon. It was a great discussion and she was happy to learn correct things about our church and I think it helped change her opinion. She was a very sweet lady. She shared her popcorn with me while I watched a movie. There are a lot of good people in this world... and I love meeting them. It makes me happy to know that there is still a lot of good in the world. Of course sharing the gospel makes my testimony stronger, and I am thankful for the opportunities I have to do it. I hope that I am a good example.

I have been home for a few days now. I still have not adjusted to our time. I don't know why this always happens to me. I have no problem adjusting on the way there. I had no problems sleeping on the planes and always slept fine every night while I was there... never woke up int he middle of the night. But when I get back... I wake up super early and then I get so tired to the point that I can't function at 8:30.  Which is so not normal for me. I'm still struggling with it, but hopefully it won't take me longer than a week to go back to my normal time schedule. If not... I feel kind of bad for the people I'm with... like John. He come over wanting to hang out with me and I just fall asleep.

While I was gone, I didn't think about work once. It was great. It's nice with my job that when I'm gone, I'm covered... so I don't have to worry about catching up when I get back too much. It did take me an entire day to go through all my emails... but that is typical. My co-workers are so great. They were so excited for my trip and they were so excited when I got back. As soon as I got back they all set up a time to meet in the conference room for an hour so that I could tell them about my trip. It makes me feel special that they even care. It's not just ok welcome back, back to work. They took an hour to talk about my trip and ask questions and genuinely care. They want part two of my travels when I got through all my pictures. The next day they asked me if I had gone through my pictures yet and I just laughed. Yet again another thing I am thankful for today. A great work environment and awesome co-workers. I know that not everyone is so lucky in that department. I know I haven't always been as lucky.

I only had to go back to work for 2 days (and my boss let me go home at 2:30 yesterday because of the Holiday weekend) and then I have a 4 day weekend. This is awesome. We kind of planned it that way when we planned our trip. We debated being gone over Thanksgiving... but I said I wanted to be back and be with family and have a long weekend to recover from the trip. So glad we did it that way.

We left right after Halloween... came back right in time for Thanksgiving and now it's time to be excited for Christmas! I need to get out my decorations. It's like a time warp. I'm glad I was out of the country for most of November though because I am anti- Christmas before Thanksgiving. :)

Oh, I finished watching Mad Men finally... so I think I'm going to start Warehouse 13 next. Catching Fire came out when I was gone... so all my friends have seen it already. My mom said she would go with me tomorrow though, so I'm excited to go see it. I have heard from everyone that it is really good.

I also missed the ward service auction while I was gone. I was a little bummed because I like going every year. My roommate was kind enough to bid on what I wanted for me though. So I still got what I wanted. I got my neighbor Geoff's elaborate compliments. I'm sure I will be blogging about them because I have heard that they are pretty rad (which is why I wanted them this year).

Besides that I have just been trying to go through pictures from my trip and catch up on life since I have been back. It was so nice to spend time with family today all day. Our house was packed. Lots of extended family which is always fun, but I will blog about that later.

If you would have asked me what life was going to be like when I was 30... I would have never guessed my life was going to turn out the way it has. Of course I thought I would be married with kids and I still wish I were. But... obviously that is not the plan for me. I would have never guessed that I was going to be a world traveler, or that I was going to learn and accomplish so much in my life. I feel like I really do live life to the fullest and I love that. I'm so thankful that I have been able to experience so much in my life so far. I'm thankful for such a loving and supportive family, who all love and care for each other and I LOVE that we don't have family drama! I'm thankful to be dating a guy who is so thoughtful and kind to everyone and treats me so well and that I have so much fun with. I really enjoy our time together. I'm thankful for a job that I can support myself and do all the things in life that I want to do. I'm thankful that I have so much family close by. It has been so fun to see family and extended family more often. I'm thankful for my health. It has been so nice to have lost 55 pounds over the last 6 months... I feel SO much better. I feel healthier and feel like I physically can do more and I am more confident and happier with myself. I'm thankful for roommates and that kind and easy to be around and are clean. I'm thankful for everything that I have been blessed with. I'm so glad that we have a holiday that lets us reflect on everything we are thankful for in our lives... because we should give thanks more often. We are all so blessed! Here is a Thankful Tree that I drew in my journal while thinking of everything that I was thankful for.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Photo of the Week 195

First of MANY pictures to come from my Southeast Asia trip. This picture was taken at Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Welcome Home

I was so happy to be home... all I wanted to do was take a shower and brush my teeth and relax. I never expect a big welcome home when I get back from a trip. I just hope the house will be clean and I will be happy. It was, which was great. Not only that but when I went to put my stuff down in my room, I walked into the bathroom and saw this...

It put a smile on my face. My roommates are very sweet and thoughtful. They also had all my mail and my roommate, Sabrina even bid on something I wanted at the ward auction for me since I couldn't be there.

If that weren't enough, John had also left me a surprise. I also wasn't expecting anything from him, especially since before I left... he was really sweet and came over and helped me pack (which I hate doing) and also gave me a head lamp to add to my camping gear and also gave me this beautiful bracelet that he bought while he was traveling in Nepal. It's a Buddhist message of good luck. Since I was traveling in Buddhist countries, he wanted me to have it. How sweet is that? I have been wearing it everyday since.

So since he did that, I REALLY wasn't expecting him to do anything else. However, I came home to find some flowers on the table with a sweet note. He is so thoughtful.

When I took a shower, I noticed that the water was draining normally (before it was slow). John had come over the night before I came home not just to drop off the flowers, but unclogged my drain and put new batteries in my smoke detectors because I took the batteries out when they were low and never put new ones in. ha ha What a sweetheart.

It is so nice to know that you are missed when you are gone and that people are happy to see you when you get back. It makes coming home really nice, especially after a miserable 2 days of travel. Thanks for making me feel special and loved.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Long Journey

This is what the end of a LONG trip on the other side of the world looks like...

After two solid days of traveling, spending 20 hours in different planes and stopping in 6 different countries... we were REALLY ready to be home. Although all the travel is totally worth the trip, this picture pretty much sums up how you feel by the time you get home.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Southeast Asia Art

So I have been loving all of the art in Southeast Asia. If I had the space to put it, I would have loved to buy a lot more art... but I don't. So I just bought one small one. By the same artist in Cambodia that painted this one that I also love.

All of these paintings I saw in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I love art! I wish I was talented in this area.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Let's Run Away

Because I love to travel... I thought of another craft. I glued map paper to canvas and printed out "Let's Run Away" and glued it on. It goes perfect with my travel room. I do always want to run away to somewhere cool and do something awesome. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Patterned Leggings

So I know that patterned leggings are totally in right now. I see them more and more. I look at the patterns on them and most of them are really cute. I see people where them... and sometimes I think, wow, that is really cute and other times I think... wow, that was a bad decision they made when they got ready this morning. Therefore, I I think I like the style, but maybe particular with how it is pulled off?

I'm just really unsure if I can pull it off or not. However, I felt the same way when colored skinny pants became really popular. Now I own a pair in like every color. So maybe I should just go for it. So I bought a few pairs of the patterned leggings. They look good... but I haven't really worn them out in public yet. I almost did once... but then thought, these might be just too loud to wear the work. Then I saw a manager over another department wearing some recently. I just need to get up the courage to wear them in public. Just do it! Right?

What do you guys think of them?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Healthy Cookies

So my co-worker, Ron.... he is a pretty healthy guy. His wife is even more healthy than he is. One day... he brought in these cookies that his wife made. We all noticed he was munching and he offered to share. Told us they were made with garbanzo beans. I had to try them to see if they actually taste good. Turns out... they were pretty tasty and obviously guilt free. So, I asked for the recipe. Here it is if you ever want to give them a try. I know I will be making them. I know I will be making them at some point.

1 can garbanzo beans rinsed (no juice)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp natural (not the fake stuff, like Jif) peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup choc chips (can use less, if desired)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional, or can use less)
1 tbsp chia seed, hemp and buckwheat cereal (from Costco)

Combine all and blend well until doughy.  Form into cookie shape (as these will not change their shape during the cooking process).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.  They will be soft coming out, but will set a little more while resting.  They will be a soft cookie

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flashback Friday 143

I'm trying to remember how old I am in this picture. I think I was 12 maybe. Sorry the picture is kind of blurry, but it is of me and my cousin Travis. We were never super close growing up... I mean we saw each other often and were always nice and loved each other as cousins... but because he is 7 years older than me, we never really hung out one on one until I went to visit him this summer. Since then, we now text and call each other hear and there. I love it. I love hearing from him and I get excited when he calls. He is so fun to talk to and I love that me visiting made us better friends. I'm all about bonding with family. I'm totally going to go visit him again this next summer. Anyway... since I just recently got a call from him and we chatted for a while, I thought I would post an old pic of us. I was kind of a Tom Boy back then. ha ha

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 196

I hate how things jump right to Christmas after Halloween. I know a lot of people love jumping right to Christmas and think that I am a grinch for being anti-Christmas until after Thanksgiving... but it's just how I feel. I refuse to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. It's hard when anywhere you go... it's playing. I guess it's a good thing I will be out of the country for half the month where they don't celebrate Christmas. Easy to avoid. Then when I get back it will be Thanksgiving... then BRING ON CHRISTMAS. :)

So my first couch surfing experience was awesome. I know I already blogged about it, but seriously, I couldn't have had a better experience with Janelle. I feel like we are good friends now. I want to go to Ohio and visit her sometime. She is awesome. My roommates kind of freaked out on me afterwords about it. People have a hard time trusting the couch surfing system. Kind of sad. There are a lot of really good people in this world. I wish people would open up to strangers a little more. I try to focus on the good in the world instead of the bad.

I'm super excited for "Catching Fire" and the second "Hobbit" to come out. I love these books... therefore I know I will love the movies, especially since I loved the first of both of these movies. Sadly I'm out of the country when Catching Fire comes out... I doubt we will see it while we are there. I'm sure all of my friends will have seen it once or twice by the time I get home. Hopefully my mom will go with me because I don't think John cares to see it.

I'm losing motivation to hit my goal weight. Not that I don't want to lose 10 more pounds... but it has been hard with the holidays. I have just been maintaining my weight for like the last month. I'm still happy with where I'm at... but I still want to lose those last 10 pounds and hit my goal weight. I'm not giving up... but I'm hoping my trip doesn't mess me up too bad... because I am not doing the diet at all on my trip. I'm hoping the all the activity I will be doing on the trip will balance out the things I eat there. We shall see. When I get back I will reevaluate and set new goals to get back on track.

I loved meeting baby Calvin. What a little sweetie. I just love my nieces and nephews so much. And I love holding babies in general. However there is just something about those babies being from your own blood line. They automatically make those babies cuter than anyone else's. If I feel this way about my siblings kids... I can't imagine how I will feel when I have my own kids. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the nieces and nephews. Can't wait to meet #11 next month!

So I already hate packing... but trying to figure out what to pack for two weeks in a backpack is even more of a struggle. Especially to counties that you have never been to before and don't really know what to expect. I just stare at my closet and then stare at the backpack and then stare at my closet again and back at my backpack. Thankfully... John came over to see me before I left and helped me pack. He is so sweet. He helped me not waste so much time while packing and helped me not miss anything. I actually got done packing before midnight the night before my trip. That is like a record for me.

Saturday my friend Sarah and I hung out. I had not really seen her since the beginning of the summer before she went to Africa for most of the summer. She is great in the fact that she makes an effort to get together with me and hang out despite the fact that we are both busy and she lives in Saratoga Springs with her family. I always appreciate people who make an effort... because it shows they really care, it's what I try to do so it is nice when people do it in return. I always make time for people like this. Sarah is great. We had a fun time going to the BYU dance performance. It was fun to just catch up and talk about life. She is a talented girl and a total go getter. I admire her. You might remember her from my blog before. She is my friend that put together "Hairspray" for our ward. She's awesome and I'm glad we got to hang out.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Time Has Come

Well... it's been 6 months in the planning and the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to the USA for a couple of weeks. So the blog is getting a little break. I know that doesn't happen often. Don't miss me too much while I'm gone ;) I will have LOTS to blog about when I get back.

I'm not sure exactly what is going to go down... but I know it will be an adventure. I think I'm ready...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Baby Calvin

On Saturday I finally got to meet my newest nephew (until next month). He is just a little over 2 weeks old. So tiny and adorable. Love him already! While I was there I took some pictures... first of Irelyn.

Then some newborn photo's of baby Calvin. I have more to edit... but these are some of my favorites. I'm really happy with how they turned out.

Me with baby Calvin. I LOVE being an Aunt. I have the cutest nieces and nephews in the world.